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I bought these school shoes for my son back in August, as he was starting school for the first time. He is a size 8/8.5, and I really struggled to find school shoes in that size from Start-rite (I always buy their shoes for my 3 kids if possible as they seem to fit best). Many of the school shoes start from a size 9, so basically these were my only option if I wanted to stick with Start-rite. This lack of choice has proved to be a blessing in disguise! They have turned out to be absolutely great.
The fit of the Campbell shoes is completely true to the usual Start-rite sizing (they do come up big compared to Clar*s, so I always tend to go down half a size from whatever the Clar*s measurer says if I can't get to a Startrite stockist to have them measured on the Start-rite gauge in person. Thus he measured an 8.5f in Clar*s and I got a 8f in these shoes. This time I bought instore, but when ordering online from Start-rite they are very fast and do next day delivery as standard, although it is not free.
They look really good quality, the leather is very tough but they were comfortable for my son from day one. They have double stitching on the uppers, and I don't know if this is decorative, functional or both, but they have held up really well for us over the past 5-6 months of constant wear. They fasten with a single velcro strap, which makes them really quick for my son to get on/off. They are very sturdy around the ankle, and feel supportive for a variety of playtime pursuits. The sole is chunky and functional, with a fab grip, and the inside of the shoe is soft leather and the insole has not come away from the shoe as sometimes happens. The shoe and the outer sole are extremely well joined together, and overall the shoe is of fantastic quality and comfort.
The front of the shoe holds up well to scuffing and wear and tear. My son scuffs them pretty much every day, but I just slick on some scuff cover or polish and they are great once more - the integrity and structure of the leather is barely damaged from this rough treatment, whereas other shoes I have purchased for my kids have actually gone through to a hole from such scuffing. They have been great through the wet and snowy weather, keeping my son's feet snug and dry and the good grip on the sole is functional is all types of weather.
These shoes were not cheap by any means, at £38, but I honestly think they are worth it as I have seen several lesser school shoes owned by my children's friends that have had to be replaced already this year. If my son's feet don't grow, I think they will last the whole year, and when they do grow I will certainly be looking for the Campbell shoes again! They come highly recommended :-)